The first findings

Hume Plantation – Slave Street Project – Cat Island, SC 2017

Selections from my trip to the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center

Friday, June 2, 2017

I woke up around 7:20 and when we were all ready, we went straight to the site. Megan and I are unit 30. The UTM is 175 0661570E 3676327. We measured our datum point. On the first level, sifting, I found kaolin pipe pieces, clear glass, some white pottery, a shotgun shell, a nail, green glass – and the coolest thing I found personally was a fragment of blue feathered ceramic at 2cm in depth. The oldest thing we found was a fabric-pressed Native American pottery sherd that dates back to maybe the 1200s.

On the second level, we’ve found more kaolin pipe, rusty nail pieces, green glass flakes and frosted clear glass. A lot of the time we spend digging up and cutting roots. There is a huge root system right through our unit.

The most beautiful thing happened while we were out there, and a few times, too. A baby white-tailed deer, still with spots, came trotting over to us. First, slowly, then quickly but not close enough to touch. He was so curious and kept coming back. I stopped during those times to watch him nervously twitching his ears and tail as the South Carolina breeze came through the dense island forest.

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We were all very happy to be home at 2. I finally took a shower! It smelled so gross. Then, we catalogued our finds. I made spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner which was a hit. Now, we are just relaxing, talking and digesting with the beautiful marshy backdrop of Cat Island right out the window.

21:40

I played rummy with Kate and Von. We will definitely be friends after this I think. We get along well and are always laughing.

I called my mom and she is in West Virginia camping with Joe and Farria. I shouldn’t be jealous but I am. I miss Morgantown and my friends. That is my home. I wanted to tell my mom about my day, but it seemed like a weird time. I guess Joe still isn’t talking to me. It’s whatever, I guess. I can’t let my mind be so weak right now.

-Ashley



Saturday, June 3, 2017, 3PM

I woke up kind of tired. We got to the site and went right to work. We were clearing many roots. I followed what I thought was a root, but realized it was metal. I tried to carefully pull it up since some of it was stuck in the west wall of the unit. It ended up being a fireplace hook. It was at 12.5 cm and is the first one that Dr. Moses has found!

I also sifted a lot of nails and other metal pieces. This was all at level 2 still. There were more ceramics – a blue one and a white one with a black stripe. Meg found a white ceramic foot of a pot. At about 16 cm, we found colonoware. Closing out L2, we found decorative glass, green, pink and clear glass and one piece that had a purple tint. The last L2 sift showed colonoware, shell and a piece of white ceramic with a brown stripe on the edge.

It was time to move on to level 3, 20-30 cm. The first thing I found was a large piece of whiteware. There were large metal pieces, loads of colonoware and kaolin pipe pieces and so many different ceramics. Meg found a green button that was from the military and a piece of clear glass with the raised letters “TR”. I found a white piece of ceramic that suggests its design pattern was black concentric circles. I also found some Native American fabric-impressed pottery, I believe. The coolest thing so far in L3 was a 1700s glazed ceramic fragment that matched unit 3’s earlier-found piece. I found a piece of redware with a yellow design and one piece that may have been hand-painted. It had a blue feathered edge and the design was in orange, yellow and red. There was a bunch of whiteware and blue feathered ware. The last thing I found was a piece of kaolin pipe neck that was still attached to the area that turned into bowl.

Anyway, Dr. Moses was a bit disappointed in us since we didn’t close out L3 today. We ended at a depth of about 27.5 cm.

We got back to the house and I got in the shower. I tried to move the shower head to a better position and the f****** rusty sonuvabitch broke off and I had to finish my shower using a water bottle and dripping it down my soapy mother******* body. I hope it gets fixed soon.

We have off tomorrow. I’m not sure what I’ll do to pass the time. Take pictures, explore maybe. I don’t know. Wish I had paints or a guitar here. I can’t wait to go to Charleston Wednesday. I wonder what’s for dinner tonight. I hope Sherry is having a good time at her son’s wedding.


I fell asleep after writing in here. When I woke up, it was time to catalog our finds. After, we had dinner, which was corn beef hash and eggs. The only thing is, I didn’t feel like making my eggs so I just had hash and bread. I talked to my mom after that for about an hour. I had a bad dream about her so I had the beginnings of a panic attack in me until I could call her. She misses me as much as I miss her. She and Joe are enjoying WV. I don’t know if Joe and I are talking or what.

Anyway, after the conversation and some thoughts about what coming home is going to be like, I found out we will only be digging 8-12 on dig days. I don’t feel like I am getting my money’s worth at this field school, but every time I find artifacts, my heart skips with joy.

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Kaitlyn and Von Hasgood, of the Navajo nation, catalog finds from Hume Plantation. (June 2017)

The Hasgood girls and I played Rummy, which was great fun. We laugh a lot and they teach me a lot about Navajo culture. Like k’e. It kind of means family, but with a lot more meaning attached. Like the essence of family and implies the tenets by which you should regard your kin. In Navajo culture, your mom is your mom and her sisters are all your “little moms”. Your cousins are all your siblings so your mom’s cousins are all your “moms” too and your mom’s siblings. It’s a matrilineal and matrilocal society. So they’re dad went to live with their mom when they were married and built their home on the reservation.

After Rummy, we watched “Perks of Being a Wallflower.” I keep seeing the book’s words in my head while watching. The book is better, but the movie is good, too. Also, I was able to see I had $445 in my PNC, so I will be able to do whatever I want to in Charleston on Wednesday! Usually, I’m the one who has to window-shop while everyone else gets stuff. This time, I don’t have to feel poor or left out.

After the movie was at 1:16:42, we were tired so we didn’t finish. We went to bed. I fell asleep a bit after 1 am. It’s 9:45 a.m. right now. I will probably sleep some more today (Sunday) since it is our day off.

-Ashley

 

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